Greek Frappé

20180429_152Summer is on its way.  There is no escaping it (unless you plan on visiting Antarctica).  Long hot days are draining and air conditioning can only do so much. Is it any wonder that hotter regions of the world, like Greece, have traditionally taken a mid-day break? But once the break is over, there is no substitute for a cool pick-me-up with a kick to get you through the rest of the day.

20170904_140422(All links open a new page, so you won’t lose your spot when you look around!  Get information on gardening and cultural traditions, recipes, stories, and more!)

Along with so many other things, it is a Greek you can thank for inventing the whipped iced-coffee so many people love. It came about mostly for the same reason as iced tea: trying to sell a hot drink on a hot day didn’t go so well. Who knew? The inventor, Dimitris Vakendios, called his concoction “frappé”, a French word describing that the drink was made by shaking the coffee with ice.  (When the weather demands something hot, go for a Greek Coffee instead!)

The recipe is easy, and the quantities of everything can be varied according to taste. The only thing that is a must is the foamy texture of your final product. You will be mocked mercilessly by any self-respecting Greek if your frappé doesn’t have it. If for whatever reason you don’t get that foam, just drink it quickly and no one will be the wiser!

Frappé Recipe


    • 1 ½ tsp instant coffee (all Greeks use Nescafe Classic)
    • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
    • Evaporated milk (optional)
    • Water


frappePut sugar and instant coffee into your glass. Add about 2 Tbsp of water. Using a hand-held electric milk frother, whip the liquid until it is completely turned into foam. I find it best to start at the bottom of the liquid and then draw the frother upwards as foam begins to form.

20170904_141017Add ice to your glass, a drizzle or so of the evaporated milk, then top off with water. You don’t want to use too much water otherwise your drink will be too diluted. Just enough to make it drinkable.


20170904_141225When serving to others it is customary to not stir the drink, but to let them do it. My mom will also want a straw if she’s over.  Just letting you know. If it isn’t too hot and/or humid, I will insist we sit outside, preferably with an ocean view (or a kiddie-pool, whatever you’ve got on hand).



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